Encouragement After the American Election

Last night I had supper with a university professor who had just returned from the American Academy of Religion conference in San Antonio that annually brings together more than 10,000 religion professors, authors and students.  The professor talked about the feeling of sadness that had permeated the meetings in the wake of the election results and said it was striking to see how many of the speakers while presenting their academic research and papers to the conference began to weep. It inspired me to look for words that might offer encouragement and to go through my photo collection to find related images. 

A stained glass window created by Jewish artist Chagall for a church in Mainz Germany as a way to bring people together after World War II

A stained glass window photographed in St. Stephan’s Catholic church in Mainz Germany. It was created by Jewish artist Marc Chagall as a gift he hoped would bring people together after World War II 

This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal. – Toni Morrison

A trio of Quebec suffragettes who fought for 22 years to get women the right to vote in their province.

A trio of Quebec suffragettes photographed in Quebec City.  They never gave up even though it took them twenty-two years of determined and unrelenting effort to get women the right to vote in their province.

I just want you to know you have to stay encouraged. Don’t ever think you can’t make a difference. -Barack Obama

In the Chernobyl Museum in Ukraine A huge mobile contains dozens of threads hanging from the ceiling of the museum and dangling at the ends of these threads are black and white pencil portraits of people who died or got seriously ill because they were 'doing their job' and were trying to help the people in the effected areas. There are sketches of doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, military people, police officers and fire fighters who were called to the scene of the disaster and went without even stopping to think that they might be placing themselves in danger.

Photographed at the Chernobyl Museum in Ukraine where there are a multitude of pencil portraits of doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters and ambulance drivers who died trying to help the people injured by the disaster. They were heroes just doing their jobs. 

Everytime we think we have reached our capacity to meet a challenge we look up and we realize that capacity may be limitless. This is a time for heroes. We will do what is hard.  – President Bartlett on West Wing

Thomas Edison was good friends with Helen Keller who autographed this photo for him with the words..... Not loudness but love sounds in your ear my friend. Helen Keller

Portrait of Helen Keller photographed at the Thomas Edison estate in Fort Myers, Florida. Helen was born deaf and blind. She became a famous author, political activist and lecturer. 

In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity. – Albert Einstein

Photograph of our son taken at the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown New York with the Jackie Robinson plaque.  Robinson was the first African American to play major league baseball.

Photograph of our son taken at the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown New York with the Jackie Robinson plaque. Robinson was the first African American to play major league baseball.

Stereotypes lose their power when the world is found to be more complex than the stereotype would suggest. When we learn that individuals do not fit the group stereotype, then it begins to fall apart. -Ed Koch

Photo taken at the Anne Frank exhibit in Hong Kong.

Photo taken at the Anne Frank exhibit in Hong Kong.

Inspite of everything I still believe people are really good at heart. – Anne Frank

Lighthouse carved from a tree damaged in a tornado in Seacliff Park Leamington Ontario

Lighthouse carved from a tree damaged in a tornado. Photographed in Seacliff Park Leamington Ontario

In a time of destruction, create something- Maxine Kingston

Sculpture photographed in Singapore

Sculpture photographed in Singapore

Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future. – John F. Kennedy

With Starry NIght at the Museum of Modern Art

With Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Van Gogh suffered from anxiety and depression while creating this beautiful vision of the night sky.

Without the dark we would never see the stars. – Stephanie Meyers

Dream Catcher at a Wendat village near Quebec City

Dream Catcher photographed at a Wendat village near Quebec City

Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.
― Langston Hughes

Other posts………

A Little Light

That’s How Light Gets In

Thoughts on Hope

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